Less than one week ago, I was sitting here discussing the hot bats of the Arizona Diamondbacks during their five-game winning streak against the rival Rockies and the Oakland Athletics. Then, once they traveled away from home and into Texas, they hit a bit of a slump.
Currently, the D-backs rank 19th in the MLB in runs and are posting a .260 batting average as a team. None of the everyday players are hitting over .300. If the Diamondbacks want to come back and contend for the National League West crown once again, this will all have to change.
There are some major differences between the 2011 season and the current Diamondbacks that we see take the field night in and night out. Perhaps most noticeably is the play of perennial all-star, Justin Upton. In 2011, Upton was a national league MVP candidate, posting a .289 average with 88 RBI's and 31 home runs. Through his 57 games played this year, Upton has just 22 RBI's and 5 home runs. Needless to say, his play has been less than stellar.
His supporting cast has been underwhelming as well. Jason Kubel has been a nice addition to the team, as he creates quite a bit of offense, but others have not stepped up to the plate (no pun intended). Ryan Roberts, Miguel Montero, Gerardo Parra and others are all off-pace to equal their numbers from last season.
The lack of offense in certain games has really started to come to fruition during the most recent road trip. Against the Texas Rangers, pitcher Wade Miley threw a gem of a game, limiting the Rangers to just one run. Unfortunately for him, his teammates were unable to score any runs and the D-backs lost 1-0.
Many of the losses recorded are not due to the pitching, either. 34 quality starts have been made by Diamondbacks pitchers, according to ESPN, which is good for 13th in the league.
The Diamondback currently sit at 8.5 games behind the first place Dodgers. And if they want to get back in the race for the pennant, it will need to be behind the bats.